As-Built 2D Drawings and Blueprints: What Are the Differences?

Construction projects are as complex as they come. This is why engineers, architects and builders work together to make sure that each element of a building is created according to standards.
But while blueprints or original plans serve as a guide in putting together a building, it’s not uncommon for changes to occur onsite to deal with certain issues regarding the construction process.

So when a building is completed, these changes are usually documented and put together in the form of as built 2D AutoCAD drawings (or plans).

What’s the difference between an as-built 2D drawing and a blueprint?

A blueprint is essentially the original plan that’s created by the architect and engineer to serve as a guide for the construction of a building. Here, every detail is carefully laid out—from measurements to cross-sections—to make it easier for contractors to implement the construction process. .

Blueprints have been the hallmark of most construction projects for over a century, but they have not been free of errors, especially since most blueprints are not actually followed to the letter and any changes made during the construction phase would go undocumented that it becomes harder for building owners to implement improvements or even just maintain the property without knowing about any deviations from its original plan. This is why an as built 3D BIM model becomes necessary.

An as-built drawing, on the other hand, contains the revisions done during the construction to be used as a comparison against the original plan or blueprint. As built 2D AutoCAD drawings (or plans) offer valuable information about the existing condition of a building including its location, dimension, elevation, geometry and other useful elements that will help in future maintenance and improvements. Most as built 2D AutoCAD drawings (or plans) are created using 3D laser scanning technology that allows for fast and accurate measurements of any site.

Why is it important to have an as-built 2D drawing?

Creating an as built 2D drawing is one of the most important processes in any construction project because these final sets of drawings are the most accurate representations of a building.

As built 2D AutoCAD drawings (or plans) contain everything that has been done to the building—from modifications to extra works—and all the approvals made during the construction process. Notes are also included to explain why these changes had to be made to make sure that they still stick to the overall goals of the project.

Having an as built 3D BIM model that could be translated into a 2D drawing is important in making future improvements more efficient because you already have all the information that you need about the building including its size, location, piping, control systems and other concealed elements.

Planning can be done easily because you already have relevant data in your hands and it helps ensure that any future improvements are done efficiently and with a faster turnaround time.

Are as-built drawings and existing condition plans the same?

As built 2D AutoCAD drawings (or plans) and existing condition plans are two different things because one is done as the project is being finished and the other is created post-construction. When you talk about as-built 2D drawings, it means that you’re taking measurements and highlighting any changes, as the project is being implemented and almost completed.

An existing conditions plan, on the other hand, is done right after all the work is completed. It contains all the data from the as-built 2D drawings, but it goes into more specific details like where electrical outlets are and what types of ductwork has been done.

Simply put, as-built drawings provide for the framework of a building while an existing condition plan details the skeleton of the project.

Both of these plans are relevant to any construction project and you can benefit immensely from finding a company that could come up with detailed As built 2D AutoCAD drawings (or plans) and existing condition plans for you.

Find out how our team of experts in Bristol can help you create a high quality as built 3D BIM model for your construction project. Get in touch with us in Bristol today for a free quote.